How collaborative learning enables high-growth teams

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

In a world increasingly dominated by digital and remote work environments, how can business leaders inspire collaboration between team members?

Collaboration is crucial in driving business growth — a fact successful companies are well aware of. Companies worldwide dedicate heaps of their budgets to collaboration tech yearly, with collaboration software revenues expected to surpass $21 billion by 2026. 

Teams that collaborate often experience higher productivity levels and engage in more thoughtful decision-making practices. In turn, profits rise alongside employee satisfaction.

But how can your company facilitate adequate collaboration in the workplace?

It all starts with collaborative learning

What is collaborative learning? 

Collaborative learning is an instructional approach to learning that promotes peer-to-peer engagement and organization-wide collaboration. In collaborative learning programs, participants work together in groups or as a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a shared task or project. 

Unlike a wholly independent approach to learning, collaborative learning emphasizes active participation from all team members, from new hires to senior employees. Cooperation among team members is paramount, leveraging social interactions to enhance the learning experience. 

Collaborative learning can take various forms, including:

  • Group discussions or classes
  • Peer-to-peer review sessions
  • Team projects
  • Mentorships

As a whole, collaborative learning aims to create a more connected workplace where all employees feel enabled to do their best work and have their voices heard.  

What are the characteristics of collaborative learning?

For anyone new to the collaborative learning approach, it is vital to understand the factors that drive collaboration and participation in learning environments.

Here are the five key characteristics of collaborative learning: 

  • Active Engagement: Participants in learning programs must be encouraged to do more than simply attend a class or workshop. Instructors and administrators must ensure each learning program provides the right opportunities for all learners to engage in some way. This requires thoroughly understanding your employees’ different learning styles to create programs tailored to each learner’s needs and preferences.  
  • Group Interaction: Group interactions must be a core component of learning programs to promote participation. Collaborative learning is about building these interactions into your core curriculum. Group discussions, class debates, or collective problem-solving exercises are all great examples of methods for facilitating collaborative interactions between your learners. 
  • Shared Responsibility: When participants share the responsibility for their learning, your learners can find better common ground within their shared goals. Shared responsibility fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among your team, helping them understand how collaboration benefits both their careers and their team’s success.  
  • Diverse Perspectives: Allowing your team members to interact only with peers in their departments can severely limit their ability to grow. Collaborative learning brings together employees from varied experience levels, areas of expertise, and professional backgrounds. As a result, your learners gain new perspectives that can positively impact their work and help them approach problems with more creative ingenuity.  
  • Knowledge Consolidation: Business growth leads to the expansion and diversification of organizational knowledge. Establishing a clear sense of collaborative cooperation amongst your team helps create well-defined channels for sharing and consolidating new information. As your business grows, your team has a solid foundation and sense of community to build upon, all while continuing to develop a shared knowledge base that keeps all team members well-informed.  

How collaborative learning grows with your team

High-growth teams need the support of agile learning programs.

Through collaborative learning, your employees gain access to more than just a resource library — they also gain the advantage of a communal network of expertise and knowledge. With the right technologies to facilitate collaborative learning, your team can find the content and resources they need to succeed. 

Collaborative learning plays a significant role in facilitating your team’s growth in several ways:  

  • Dynamic Skill Development: When team members collaborate, they must fulfill a range of different roles and diverse tasks, as well as contribute their unique skills to the group. This varied skill development helps employees hone their skills in dynamic settings, increasing each team member’s professional adaptability and flexibility. Collaborative learning can be beneficial for developing communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Peer Learning & Support: A collaborative approach to learning programs fosters greater peer-to-peer communication and cooperation. By working together more closely in collaborative learning environments, your team members can acquire new skills and knowledge they may have never previously explored. Collaborative learning establishes a foundation of support and encouragement in the workplace that drives each team member to perform exceptionally.  
  • Adaptability: An adaptable approach to company objectives is necessary in today’s fast-paced industries and increasingly digital world. Collaborative learning exposes your team members to new perspectives, helping them to consider their goals and challenges in a new light. Additionally, collaborative learning teaches individuals about different working and learning styles, helping them better determine their personal preferences and what best motivates them. 
  • Problem-Solving: Bringing your team together in collaborative learning settings fosters professional relationships they can rely on to solve future problems. The more diverse each learning group is, the more innovative and effective solutions they can devise based on each person’s unique perspective and knowledge. Participants in your learning programs can work together to solve complex problems, building the skills they need to overcome organizational challenges in real-life settings as well.  
  • Collective Trust: Companies that focus too much on team member independence can inadvertently create a sense of distrust between their employees. By comparison, collaborative learning teaches your team the value of seeking out different opinions and the communication skills to reach mutually beneficial decisions effectively. Collaboration between peers builds a strong and cohesive team, creating a sense of camaraderie that drives operational resilience. 
  • Continuous Learning: Collaborative learning fosters a culture of constant learning within your team, inspiring them to seek out their interests and expand their skills together and independently. Through a collaborative approach to learning, you encourage your employees to seek out new information and dare to explore different strategies for a particular problem. In turn, your team becomes much more adaptable in evolving circumstances.  
  • Better Decision-Making: Collaborative learning inherently promotes knowledge sharing, giving your team members access to more information than ever before. As a result, your team’s decision-making processes are better-informed and involve multiple perspectives and insights. This results in business decisions that are more well-rounded, objective, and thoughtful.  
  • Cross-Functional Understanding: Engaging in collaborative learning helps business leaders bridge the gap between different departments and experts within their organizations. Team members from different backgrounds and experience levels can learn about how other departments work and their functions, ultimately providing a better understanding of the business and its overall objectives.  
  • Preparation for Real-World Collaboration: In any real-world work environment, team members must work together to reach shared goals — even those who work in different departments or have differing areas of expertise. Collaborative learning simulates real-world experiences where your team must practice cooperation and learn to communicate effectively. This practice often proves invaluable for preparing your team to work collaboratively in real life.

Why collaborative learning programs are the key to communal knowledge

Aside from clearing pathways for better communication, collaborative learning is vital for establishing a robust shared knowledge base. Companies that empower employees to share information with their peers easily can greatly simplify problem-solving processes and increase workplace productivity. 

The question then becomes how can your company facilitate this information sharing and collaboration?

You must examine your current approach to building learning programs to uncover the answer.  

Learning management systems (LMS) have been long-time support pillars in the workplace for training employees — but what else can these solutions achieve? 

Advancements in learning technologies have taken LMS solutions to the next level, enabling companies to establish central platforms for knowledge sharing, learning, and collaboration. By creating a central hub for learning activity via modern learning technologies, you provide your team with the resources and support to connect with peers at all levels in your business.  

The PlusPlus collaborative learning model evolves alongside your team

At PlusPlus, our platform accommodates evolving knowledge that doesn’t fit in a doc. 

We support high-growth teams through a collaborative learning model that prioritizes personalized learning experiences and an extensive shared knowledge base. With the help of PlusPlus, you can help your team face challenges head-on through our collaborative approach to problem-solving. 

Book a PlusPlus demo today to discover the collaborative capabilities of our learning platform. 

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